Prep basketball trying to succeed despite tumultuous offseason
Published 3:09 pm, Friday, December 10, 2010
For the Fairfield Prep boys basketball team, the summer of 2010 was quite a tumultuous time.
The Jesuits start a new era in their program as former junior varsity and assistant varsity coach Leo Redgate takes over for dismissed coach Rich Lee, who was the coach for the last six years, with a career record of 67-64.
Redgate is the lone holdover of the staff, as two other assistants were dismissed as well. It has been a chaotic experience for him, but he is trying to make the most of it.
"I have very mixed emotions," Redgate said. "I've tried to be positive about this whole situation."
Redgate takes over a team that was 9-11 in 2009-10. Prep won its final two games of the regular season to qualify for both the SCC and Class LL tournaments, but lost its final two games in those tournaments to Wilbur Cross and Sacred Heart, respectively.
Prep will return some talented members with varsity experience, however. The Jesuits will start with their co-captains, guard Robbie Bier and forward/center Matt Daley. Bier is Prep's point guard, and will make the offense go.
"At any point he can score 20 points," Redgate said of Bier. "But it shows a sign of his leadership that he doesn't, he's about making everyone else much better."
Daley is a proven scorer, who can provide the Jesuits with toughness and tenacity in the post. He's also provided Prep with leadership along this rocky time. "He's gone above and beyond what I expect from him," Redgate said. "No one works harder than Matt Daley."
The Jesuits are currently with some injuries, which could set their season off to an inauspicious start. Nick Hoin is trying to rebound from a partially torn ACL and Alex Heiman also is trying to recover from an injury as well. Redgate is aware how important getting both healthy is for the team this year. "We're hoping to have both of them back," Redgate said. "They're starters."
Despite the tumult that surrounds the program, Redgate is trying to promote an uber-positive culture. He thinks that his kids have taken the lead on this, and they should be ready to roll.
"My goal is for us to win basketball games and have fun doing it," Redgate said. "The kids have without question bought in."
Redgate is also concerned with getting his team focused and ready, and making sure that they have the belief that they can win every game in the monstrous SCC. "Our schedule is always horrible," Redgate said. "But I'd like to see us become more consistent at winning games."
To Redgate, it starts with Prep defending its home turf in its Holiday Tournament, which begins on Dec. 28. The Jesuits will take on the defending champion, Ludlowe, in a rematch from a year ago.
"We'd like to win our Christmas tournament," Redgate said. "We haven't been able to beat Ludlowe in the past two years."